My apologies for the delay in posting a new blog entry. Time moves a bit more slowly on Yap. But, you will be happy to know that everything continues to go well here. We have continued to explore the island (mostly by boat over the coral reef), and we have started the work projects with local agencies. As I write this, I am sitting on the back porch and the sun is rising over a transport ship called the Micro Spirit. The students are still asleep inside the house, so it’s quiet except for the waves lapping on the shore. The sun is already making me sweat, but the wind is starting to pick up. It will be a good day.
In the last Lagoon Letter, I described our hike up Mt. Madeqdeq to see the sun rise. On Friday, we hiked the Tamilyog Trail to watch the sun set. Unlike most stone paths, the Tamilyog Trail is accessible to everyone. Traditionally, it was a major thoroughfare used for long distance walking journeys across the island. In other words, it was the I-85 of Yap.
We went to the village of Kanif (on the western end of the trail) and hiked up to the resting platform at the top of the hill. We saw large fruit bats (totally harmless since they only eat … fruit) and a variety of birds (crimson honeycatchers, tropic white birds, and others). Then, we waited for the sun to do its thing. Eventually, it did. In a moment of inspiration, we spelled out Yap with the sunset as your background. On the way down the trail, we hiked in darkness surrounded by fireflies.
Will and Kelsey’s Visit
On Monday night, Will Massey (Queens ’08) and Kelsey Hansen (Queens ’11) stopped by to share some of their wisdom about Yap. Both Will and Kelsey teach at the local high school. Will teaches English literature and writing. Kelsey teaches Science. In Yapese fashion, we gathered in a circle and started sharing stories. We learned to never step over a person’s betel nut basket, to never (ever) throw food, and to always keep your voice low. Yapese culture values quiet. Having Queens alumni living on Yap has given students a unique window into Yapese life. Will and Kelsey are able to compare Yap with Queens, since they understand the culture of each.
I will end this entry here, but do promise to add more entries on our housing arrangements (preview: 15 people, one bathroom, and no mirror) and work projects (preview: from reef to ridge, WWII to the future). There is a LOT to describe. I just wish I had enough time to do it right. Until the next Lagoon Letter ….